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Forcefield Pro Back Insert

Forcefield Pro Back Insert
Forcefield Pro Back Insert
wBW Quick Look
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
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More Forcefield Armor Reviews:
Forcefield Action Shirt and Pants Review
Forcefield Pro Sub 4 Back Protector Review
Forcefield Pro Shirt Review
Forcefield Sport Lite 2 Review

Summary

The Forcefield Pro back insert is now available in six different sizes to fit a variety of motorcycle jackets.

The Forcefield Pro back inserts are rated EC Level 2 and the 009 is rated to the updated EN1621-2:2013 standard.

The advantage of an "in the jacket" back protector is that it's more likely to be there when you need it most.

The Forcefield Pro "Nitrex Evo" shock absorbing material makes these back protectors more flexible and comfortable than other types.

Bottom line is that you'll probably be much better protected with one of these in your jacket than that cheap piece of foam that came with it...

Introduction

Forcefield now makes a huge number of back protectors and "body armour" in many different shapes and sizes. Several of these types have been reviewed on webBikeWorld.com, including the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Product of the Year, the Forcefield Pro Shirt (review).

One of the most important things to remember about back protectors is this: if you're not wearing it, it's not doing you any good. And let's face it -- most street riders don't wear a dedicated back protector, for one reason or another. Even wearing the Forcefield Pro Shirt (review), as comfortable as it is, means adding another layer and more time to your riding preparation routine and too many riders go without.

That's why a good back protector that fits right inside the jacket may be the best bet for many motorcyclists. Once you've installed it, you never have to worry about it again...as long as you're wearing the jacket.

Forcefield Pro Back Insert vs. Rukka
Forcefield Pro back insert on the left, compared to the Rukka RVP Air.
Forcefield Pro Back Insert vs. Rukka Top
Forcefield Pro 009 back insert thickness compared to the Rukka RVP Air.
The Forcefield Pro Back Insert

The Forcefield Pro back insert now comes in six different sizes to fit a selection of motorcycle jackets. The latest model is the 009, the example used in this review, which was designed specifically to fit Rukka jackets. As far as I know, the 009 fits all Rukka jackets, including the Rukka Armas jacket (review) and Rukka Airway jacket (review) described recently in the webBikeWorld reviews.

In case you're wondering, the answer is "Yes!". At those prices, Rukka should be giving you a full set of Forcefield protection instead of the questionable (in my mind) Rukka RVP Air "protection" that comes with Rukka clothing. Further, it's my feeling that you should skip the d3O stuff also; go right for the Forcefield Level 2 rated protection, like a Forcefield Pro 009 back insert.

The Forcefield Pro back inserts are made just like the other Level 2 Forcefield protection, using the "Nitrex Evo" material described in other webBikeWorld Forcefield reviews. We embedded the quick video below, which demonstrates the difference between the Nitrex Evo material, which absorbs impact, compared to other types.

The Nitrex Evo and the overall composition of the back insert is similar to the Forcefield Pro Sub 4 Back Protector (review) reviewed on webBikeWorld in 2009, when it was first released. It feels stiff yet flexible and it has five distinct layers, with a semi-soft/hard flexible mesh on top (towards the rear when inserted in the jacket pocket) that looks like a miniature version of the Rukka RVP Air protection.

The 009 back insert we have weighs 745 grams (1 lb. 10-1/8 oz.), so it does add some heft to the already porky Rukka jackets. But on the other hand, those jackets have a nice trim fit, so the 009 insert actually feels right at home.

The construction quality of the Forcefield Pro back insert is outstanding, with a lot of detailing and a very rugged-looking double-piped border seam around the entire perimeter. I have no doubt that this is one product that should last way longer than your jacket...

Forcefield Pro Back Insert Sizes

As of May 2013, the Forcefield Pro back insert 009 will be added to the current back insert lineup for a total of six sizes. The lineup includes the 001, 002, 003, 007, 008 and now the 009 (which fits Rukka jackets). More information is available on the Forcefield website, but we borrowed some of the photos to show the comparative size and shape differences below.

Although we've been asking for years for the jacket manufacturers to standardize on a back protector pocket shape, this hasn't happened unfortunately. We'll keep bugging them about it, but in the meantime, hopefully you can find one of the Forcefield Pro back inserts in a shape below that will fit your favorite jacket.

Forcefield Pro Back Insert 001 Forcefield Pro Back Insert 002

Forcefield Pro Back Insert 003 Forcefield Pro Back Insert 007

Forcefield Pro Back Insert 008 Forcefield Pro Back Insert 009

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Updated Back Protector Standards: EN 1621-2:2003 vs. EN 1621-2:2013 Level 2

The EN1621-2 Level 2 standard, revised in 2003 is designed to protect the spine and other parts of the back from nasty things like stones and pavement. The standard has various requirements, including coverage (size) to ensure rider protection.

Basically, the protectors are tested in a standardized and described format (tests must be conducted by a certified lab). The protector is hit with an anvil somewhat like the shape of a cobblestone on at least five different locations.

Level 2 is the "best" standard; the energy of the hits is 50 Joules but the "average peak force recorded below the anvil in the tests shall be below 9 kN and no single value shall exceed 12 kN". By the way, the champ so far is the Forcefield Pro Sub 4 Back Protector (review), which transmitted just 3.38 kN (the Level 1 average can't exceed 18 kN and no impact may exceed 24 kN).

The current standard EN1621-2: 2003 will be replaced in 2013 by EN1621-2: 2013. In addition to the various tests and levels described above, there will be four different sizes that can be certified. In addition to the impact under normal conditions, the standard has also introduced blow against protection in wet and a voluntary certification for cold (-10 C) and hot conditions (+40 C).

Currently, the only back protector officially certified to the new test is the Forcefield Pro back insert 009 shown here, designed to fit the Rukka jackets. Forcefield plans on testing all of their back inserts and protectors to the new standard this year.

For more information on the EN1621-2:2003 standard, see the webBikeWorld Forcefield Pro Sub 4 Back Protector (review), which has more detail on the standards.

Forcefield Pro Back Insert Slide Show and Nitrex Evo Video

There's not much more to say about this important safety product. Here is a slide show comparing the Forcefield Pro back insert 009 to the Rukka RVP Air product. I think you can easily figure out which one we'd rather have protecting our backs!

Forcefield Pro Back Insert Slide Show
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wBW Video: Forcefield vs. Competitor Armor Impact and Rebound
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Conclusion

One of the most important items of protective gear is also probably the least used by street riders: a back protector.

And I can understand why -- wearing a dedicated protector adds yet another step to the ride prep routine and, to be frank, most of those back protectors with a belt and suspenders are pretty uncomfortable.

On the other hand, the vast majority of the back "protection" that comes in the jackets we've reviewed is absolute junk.

Sorry for being so frank, but that's the way it is. And it doesn't matter whether the jacket is inexpensive or not; for example, the high-end Rev'it jackets have pathetic levels of back protection also -- and this is the company that owns Tryonic (report), who makes back protectors and other protective gear. Why doesn't Rev'it add Tryonic back protectors to their jackets?

In the meantime, you can have a Level 2 back protector in your jacket today for a measly 75 bucks. A back protector is a crucial piece of safety gear that can greatly enhance the protective qualities of your jacket. Forcefield makes more different types and sizes than anyone I know of, so measure your favorite jacket and see if there's a Forcefield Pro back insert that will fit.

See Also: Forcefield Pro Shirt Review  |  Forcefield Pro Sub 4 Back Protector Review

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wBW Review: Forcefield Pro Back Insert
Manufacturer: Forcefield
U.S. Distributor: Motonation
List Price: $74.00 (£44.99)
Colors: N/A. Made In: UK
Review Date: May 2013  
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

Your Comments and Feedback

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From "H.S." (May 2013): "Thanks for the review of the Forcefield Pro Back Insert. Up to your usual high-quality standards, and chock full of useful info.

I purchased a Rev'it "Tornado" mesh jacket a few months ago (to replace an aging Teknic mesh jacket). It was nice to be able to try it on at Revzilla's Philadelphia store, where I also checked out a bunch of other mesh jackets. I could ensure that it fit properly over various combinations of base layers (or none), check out the quality, make sure that the elbow armor was over my elbows (which wasn't really the case with the Teknic).

And for the life of me, I can't understand why so many mesh jackets, at that store and elsewhere, have black mesh. Seems to me, you're wearing a mesh jacket because it's hot out, and if it's hot, why in the world would you want to wear anything with black all over it?

The new jacket seems to be constructed in a very high-quality manner, but I certainly agree with Bill C.'s despair regarding the typical "junk" in many jackets. Here's what I wrote in my review of the Tornado for Revzilla's site: "OTOH, for $350 you don't even get a real back protector, just some very thin foam. While that foam has air holes, I replaced it with the CE1 (non-air-hole) protector from the Teknic."

Even though I wound up buying the jacket, I ultimately gave it a "No, I do not recommend this product" thumbs down, essentially the result of its negligible back protection at that price point). I'll be looking to upgrade to the Forcefield shortly.

Speaking of which, I have a couple of questions: 1) The Forcefield -- at least the older models -- comes in a "Super Lite" version. Have you done any testing on that style, in terms of its weight and energy absorption?

2) Motorcycle Superstore (and Revzilla, for that matter, but I'll be ordering via the former -- same price -- to support you folks) lists the new Forcefield as unavailable on its web site; I just checked. And here it is, May already. You have a guess regarding when it will really be available?"

Editor's Reply: 1) The "Super Lite" protectors are Level 1 only. 2) The 009 back insert is designed to fit the Rukka jackets; it will be available by the end of May. The other back inserts are available through the links in the review above.


From "E.J." (May 2013): "Any idea if the Forcefield Pro 009 insert will fit in the ridiculously shaped pocked of my Tourmaster Intake 2 jacket? I tried doing a measurement comparison, but the shapes are just different enough that I'm not sure. Thanks for keeping us informed!"

Editor's Reply: No, don't have a clue. Best you can do is try and figure out the measurements. You could probably have someone adapt the pocket also, it shouldn't be too hard for someone who knows what they're doing to re-stitch a pocket to fit.

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